INDONESIA OPEN 2014 QF – Jindapon jumps for joy!

The celebrations continue for Nitchaon Jindapon as she advanced to her first ever Superseries semi-final with a victory over Bae Yeon Ju at the BCA Indonesia Open Superseries Premier. By […]

The celebrations continue for Nitchaon Jindapon as she advanced to her first ever semi-final with a victory over Bae Yeon Ju at the BCA Superseries Premier.

By Nadhira Hafsha, Badzine Correspondent live in Jakarta.  Photos: Yves Lacroix for Badmintonphoto (live)

Less than a year after making a major breakthrough by winning her first ever Grand Prix title, 23-year-old Nitchaon Jindapon (pictured), Thailand’s new sensation, has continued her outstanding run of form, making the BCA Indonesia Open her first ever Superseries semi-final appearance.  This time, she needed an intense win against Korean’s Bae Yeon Ju (pictured below) to bring her to her original target of reaching the final four, but now she wants more.

“In the first game, I started very slow, so I wasn’t able to take any opportunity,” said the Thai after the match.  “In the second game, I raised my speed, defended well, and I attacked more. The same thing in the third game as well.

“My target was the semi-final but now I want to enter the final!  I don’t know who I will face tomorrow.  I’m just going to rest my body, rest my mind and fight again tomorrow.”

As it turns out, the women’s singles semi-finals will feature two China-Thailand showdowns, with Jindapon going up against Olympic champion Li Xuerui – whom she took to 3 games at their last encounter, at the India Open Superseries – while compatriot Ratchanok Intanon goes head-to-head with Wang Shixian.

Koreans look to corner the doubles

The second of three trial pairings this month for former world #1 Tan Boon Heong of Malaysia was stopped in the quarter-finals by last week’s Japan Open champions Lee Yong Dae / Yoo Yeon Seong (pictured below).  Tan Boon Heong and Tan Wee Kiong made a strong showing against the resurgent Koreans but could not convert the 18-15 lead they held late in the deciding game.

“The Malaysians attacked more in the first game, so we changed our strategy by defending well and starting to attack more before they attacked us,” said Lee Yong Dae afterward.  “We just want to focus step by step.  We are looking forward for the final, but we don’t think too much about that because it could hurt our chances in our current match.”

Fellow Koreans Kim Ki Jung / Kim Sa Rang are also on a comeback trail.  After finishing strong in 2013, they had a dismal start to this year but have shown some much better form since Ki Jung returned from suspension.

Their latest win in their question for their first Superseries title in nearly two years came against Lee Sheng Mu / Tsai Chia Hsin.  The 4th-seeded Koreans began their quarter-final battle against the 5th seeds from Chinese-Taipei very convincingly and kept it up to win 21-14, 21-17.

“Today we played a very good match, we were fully concentrating during the game, and we didn’t set any specific strategy today.  We just enjoyed the match,” said Kim Sa Rang.

Asked about their semi-final against World Champions Mohammad Ahsan / Hendra Setiawan (pictured), Kim Sa Rang added, “Against Ahsan/Setiawan tomorrow we have to be confident with the way we play.  We have to be comfortable on the court as well, because we know that the whole stadium will be against us tomorrow, and we have to ready for that.”

Men’s singles ups and downs for Denmark

Jan O Jorgensen (pictured below), the #3 seed from Denmark clinched his second semi-final spot in as many weeks by beating Korean #1, Son Wan Ho.  Jorgensen admitted that the match was not as easy as the score might suggest.

“It was a tough match.  Even though I won quite comfortably, he’s very difficult to play,” said Jorgensen afterward.  “I knew that I had to keep the intensity all the time and stay calm.  I was really focused even though I had a good lead.”

His opponent for the semi-final will be China’s Chen Long, who leads in their head-to-head encounters 6-0.  Jan commented, “I’ve never won against Chen Long, and I had also never won against Son Wan Ho before today.  I will just give my best for tomorrow, and hopefully I can get my first win against him.

“My best result here was reaching the quarter-final in 2008.  I was 18 years old.  I beat Peter Gade.  It was the biggest match for me at that time, but then I lost to another young kid, Kenichi Tago.  So that’s a long time ago and I’m just happy that I found my style here, because this is one of the greatest places to play.”

Asked about what specific strategy that he will use for his semi-final match, Jan explained, “I’m going to go for the win, not rally too much.  I’m going to play my attacking style.  That’s one of the things that I do best.  I’m going hard tomorrow.”

Meanwhile, five-time Indonesia Open champion Lee Chong Wei made it safely through to the semi-final by beating Jorgensen’s compatriot Hans-Kristian Vittinghus (pictured below) convincingly, 21-18, 21-11.

“I was playing a little bit slow in the first game,” said Lee Chong Wei after the match.  “Hans was also playing better in the first game.  During the critical points, I was able to pull out my best.

“Last week, I won the Japan Open.  That was really an exhausting competition.  I hope that I can win my 6th Indonesia Open, and after this I will rest and prepare for the Commonwealth Games and the World Championships.

“Next year, I will cut down the competitions that I participate in to focus more for the Olympics.”

Click here for complete quarter-final results

About Nadhira Rahmani